- The Joburg Buffaloes chased down what was the highest total in the Zim Afro T10, to defeat the Durban Qalandars.
Harare: Yusuf Pathan rolled back the years and how, as he produced plenty of big hits and entertainment at the Harare Sports Club, to help the Joburg Buffaloes storm into the finals of the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10, after defeating the Durban Qalandars by 6 wickets in Qualifier 1. Yusuf scored an unbeaten 80 from 26 deliveries as the Buffaloes chased down a record total, here on Friday.
Put into bat first, the Durban Qalandars, who had finished top of the table in the league stage, had a slow start, losing the in-form Tim Seifert for 11 in the third over, with the score on 16. That though would kick start a fantastic as Mirza Tahir Baig and Andre Fletcher went through the gears against the Joburg Buffaloes’ bowling.
While it was Fletcher, who was finding the boundaries with more regularity, Baig ensured he kept the scoreboard moving at his end. The duo put on a 49-run stand for the second wicket in quick time before Baig was dismissed in the 6th over for 20 by Victor Nyauchi. A short while later, George Linde departed for 1, and that was followed by the big scalp of Fletcher for 39 off 14 deliveries.
That brought the due of Asif Ali and Nick Welch to the middle in the death overs, and they piled on the runs at good pace. Both hammered a six each and smashed 8 boundaries between themselves, as the Qalandars’ total soared over the 100-run mark, to stop at 140/4 in their 10 overs. At that point, it was the highest total in an innings during the course of the tournament.
In response, the Joburg Buffaloes did not quite have the start they needed. Mohammad Hafeez and Tom Banton, both big hitters were looking to tee off from the get-go, as required, but the Qalandars’ bowlers had other ideas.
They tied up the batters with some fantastic bowling, which led to Hafeez (17) becoming the first wicket for the Qalandars. Soon after, Banton (4) was cleaned up Tayyab Abbas, who would also go on to dismiss the dangerous Will Smeed (16) a little later in the fifth over. At that time the score read 56/3, with the Qalandars well and truly in the ascendency.
Ravi Bopara could only add 1 to the cause before Tendai Chatara had his number, after which Yusuf Pathan and Mushfiqur Rahim came together, with quite the task on hand. After the duo absorbed the pressure, Yusuf broke free against Mohammad Amir in the 8th over, smashing him for 3 sixes and a boundary, in what was a 25-run over, and took the Buffaloes over the 100-run mark. In the final two overs, the Buffaloes would need 39 to win.
Yusuf completed his fifty in the 9th over, and then continued to put the long handle to good use, much to the joy of the fans. In the final over, the Buffaloes needed 20 to win with Yusuf, going great guns.
The Indian batter was absolutely rolling back the years with a vintage knock, and continued in his merry ways in the final over, beginning as he smashed two fours and two sixes, finishing off the game with a boundary to help the Buffaloes storm into the final of the Zim Afro T10.
Durban Qalandars – 140/4 (Andre Fletcher – 39, Asif Ali – 32*; Noor Ahmad – 2/9, Blessing Muzarabani – 1/13) lost by 6 wickets against Joburg Buffaloes – 142/4 (Yusuf Pathan – 80*, Mohammad Hafeez – 17; Tayyab Abbas – 2/19, Daryn Dupavillon – 1/17)